A recent study in the April 3 online issue of Pediatrics found that children who receive the flu shot were less likely to die of flu complications.
According to the study, three-quarters of U.S. children who died of complications from the illness between 2010 and 2014 had not received the vaccination prior to their death. The study, which was completed by the United States Centers for Disease Control, goes on to state that it’s estimated that 65 percent of those deaths could be prevented with an annual flu shot.
The reality is that children without medical complications – those who are otherwise deemed healthy – can and do die from the flu, if it causes complications, like pneumonia. The risk of death is compounded by children with medical conditions such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia.
The findings were based on 358 children and teens who died from the flu and were confirmed by lab testing throughout the four-year study. Of the 153 children with high-risk conditions, 31 percent had gotten the flu shot. Researchers then compared those children with three groups of children whose vaccinations had been tracked – of which, 48 percent had received the flu shot.
The reluctance to vaccinate, according to researchers, comes from the belief among some parents that the flu shot is ineffective and uncertainty of what the flu is, confusing it with the common cold or stomach infections and thinking that if they become at all ill after receiving the vaccination the shot did not work.
Read more about the study here.